December 17, 2018
Wāhine call for violence action
An open letter signed by 50 influential women, community leaders and NGOs has put the issue of violence against women on the front page, and could be the basis for a more sustained effort.
Among those who signed are former prime ministers Helen Clark and Dame Jenny Shipley, former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, musician Anika Moa, the Māori Women’s Welfare League and National Council of Women.
Organiser Laura O’Connell Rapira from Action Station says a similar open letter earlier this year by groups working to address violence got little traction, but the killing of British tourist Grace Millane had created a surge of grief and anger that needed to be chanelled into solutions.
She has asked for a meeting with the undersecretary for domestic and sexual violence issues, Jan Logie, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"In order to prevent and end violence in our country we all have a role to play. It's not just government. It's people, it's whānau level, it's hapū, iwi level, it's community, it's local councils and it's at every single level of society we need change. We've requested a meeting with them to ask how we as community organisers and community leaders can support the government to do the do," Ms O’Connell Rapira says.
The letter has been posted by Action Station as an online petition which will serve as the basis for further organising.
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